Craig Conover’s ‘Southern Charm’ Pillow Parties May Be the Next Best Thing to Hitting BravoCon
When Conover was approached about featuring his merchandise at a local boutique he thought it might be a low-key way to see sales in action. Instead what Conover encountered was a revved-up social interaction experience where he was able to engage with fans.
That simple initial event has blossomed into a full-blown national “pillow party” tour where fans can not only check out Conover’s line, they can also meet the handsome 30-year-old and maybe even some of his Southern Charm friends.
He created the tour on a whim
Conover recalls being surprised during the first pillow party. “I went to one of the first stores that carried our pillows,” he told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “They were having a grand re-opening party and I offered to come up. It was in Camden, South Carolina, and when I got there, there was already a line of like 150 people and I was like ‘whoa!'”
He was struck by the cocktail party atmosphere and fan enthusiasm. “I thought this is something we could really do,” he continued. “And then I thought I like meeting people, I like engaging with the fans and the fans of the company. And I was like if people want me to do this and want to come out, I love traveling around and meeting everyone.”
Conover was so excited about the idea he posted about it without consulting with his team. “So without talking to my team I just made an Instagram video that I’m going to be doing pillow parties,” he laughed. “It was very well received. Now we have had between 350 to 450 people coming to the parties.”
Conover loves engaging with new people
Conover’s enthusiasm for meeting fans is quite apparent. He basks in getting to engage with people, plus he loves to see how his business is helping people make connections. “Apparently the feedback has been great,” he says. “It’s funny how people become friends in line. Everyone seems to have a great time. It’s really cool and everyone seems to be nice. It’s a happy, fun getaway.”
Plus, he’s helping small businesses. “After one of the parties the lady from the shop stopped me the next morning,” Conover remarks. “She met me at my car and was bawling. She told me she’d never had more than 10 people at her store and we had more 450 people at her store last night. One [party] in North Carolina turned into a town block party and said it is the biggest thing that’s happened in the town in a while.” He also features local food, alcohol, and musician vendors at each event.
He said his pillow line is also booming. “We just sold our 2,500th pillow last week,” he says proudly. “And we just started the company on April 1.” Cast members don’t have to worry that they’ll be tricked into another pillow sewing party. “The factory in Beaufort is great and can handle the demand,” Conover assures Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “Everything is done so well. We make our own fill for the inserts too.”
How can you catch the next party?
Conover is busy hitting cities throughout the county. He includes tour updates on the Sewing Down South Instagram. Plus, he’s constantly adding more dates. That means Bravo fans who may be disappointed they missed out on tickets for BravoCon can snag a chance to meet Conover in their hometown at one of the parties.
Conover promises music, drinks, and food, plus a hug for each fan. “We’ve had people fly in from Phoenix and drive down from Canada and drive up from Atlanta,” he remarks.”That’s why it’s so important I engage with everyone who comes through. I don’t want to be a cold encounter. I give everyone a hug and talk with them a little bit.”
That also means fans don’t have to buy tickets and Conover will stay until he’s met every single fan. “In Maryland, it was supposed to be from 3 pm until 5 pm, but I was there until 9 at night,” he says.”Because if you come I want to make sure I can meet everyone. I’m a people person and I’d trade my own smile to put a smile on someone else’s face. In this case, we all get to smile.”